The Nobel Peace Prize is a prestigious international award.  The winner is selected by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, on behalf of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel’s estate, and awarded to whoever “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”. The first woman to win a Nobel Prize was Marie Curie, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 with her husband, Pierre Curie, and Henri Becquerel (Curie is also the only woman to have won multiple Nobel Prizes). There have been 52 women Nobel prize winners between 1901 and 2018.

Here are 3 women Nobel Prize winners in Africa:

Wangari Maathai, Kenya, 2004

women Nobel prize winners – Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai is an environmentalist and founder of the Green Belt Movement. The Nobel committee acknowledged her efforts in standing up courageously against the former oppressive regime in Kenya. She is a defender of democratic rights and uplifter of women.



Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia, 2011

women nobel prize winners – Ellen Sirleaf

Ellen Sirleaf was the first female president in Africa. She was nationally and internationally recognised for her non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work. As head of state proceeding a violent civil war, she worked tirelessly to promote peace, reconciliation and social and economic development.



Lymah Gbowee, Liberia, 2011

women nobel prize winners – Lymah Gbowee

During the Liberian civil war, Lymah Gbowee united women from different ethnic and religious groups in the fight for peace. She played an important role in successfully concluding peace talks. After the war she provided support to victims of war such as child soldiers.


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